Bahrain to Question Human Rights Defenders Participating in UPR Process
Washington, D.C. — Bahrain human rights defenders who were in Geneva earlier this week for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process are to be questioned by Bahrain’s Ministry of the Interior on their return to Bahrain, Jalila al Salman told Human Rights First. “We hear we are to be summoned for interrogation by the Ministry of Interior for speaking out about the crackdown when we were in Geneva earlier this week,” she told Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. Jalila Al Salman, vice president of the Bahrain Teachers Association, is one of a dozen human rights defenders and activists who were at the UPR to report on the Bahrain regime’s crackdown on human rights. She was detained, tortured and sentenced to three years in prison after an unfair military trial last year and is presently out of detention while her appeal is heard. The President of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Laura Dupuy Lasserre, expressed her concern that there would be repercussions for the Bahraini human rights defenders on their return home. “… I wish to remind you that we are all duty bound to ensure that nobody is persecuted on his return to his country for having participated in meetings of the human rights council or other bodies,” she told the Bahrain government. “Harassing human rights defenders is a hallmark of repressive regimes. Representatives of Bahraini civil society must not be targeted for speaking at the UPR,” said Dooley.